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Dec-30-2006 01:21printcommentsVideo

Afghanistan National Police: An Exercise in Survival (VIDEO)

DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan National Police officers will tell you that the wage they earn isn't enough to keep food on their family's table. But that’s just one of the challenges in being part of the Police Force in Afghanistan.

night patrol in Kabul
Night patrol in total darkness in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Photo by: Tim King

(KABUL, Afghanistan) - The National Police of Afghanistan have their hands full, working with coalition forces and trying to get a grip on crime in a nation that has almost no laws or legal system. Oregon soldiers are doing regular patrols with the Afghan Police and as Tim King shows us in this next report, the challenges for these low paid law enforcement officers are many.

The ANP as they are called, have been the subject of several reports in recent weeks. They are criticized for corruption and the small number that hit the streets each day is dwindling as men quit their posts in search of higher paying jobs.

Two officers that an Oregon Guard platoon and I went out on patrol with this week, didn't even have gloves, let alone body armor or other standard police gear.

"Right now we have 3,500 Afghani,” said Abib, an ANP Officer (via interpreter).

Another Officer, Barriela, added, “We don't have enough money because here everything is day by day, the price has become high."

The night patrol with the ANA was part of a cross training exercise. Coalition troops are doing what they can to assist these officers who didn't even have gloves to insulate them from the 19-degree winter air.

Our interpreter, Matiullah, talked about life before the ANP, when the country was under Taliban rule.

"I had five brothers, my one brother killed a Russian, the bombing started. Like my other brother like the Taliban they decapitated him with a knife. He left behind five children. My one daughter she was two years old, she was playing outside, the Taliban were shooting, the Taliban killed her also."

What could only be described as horror stories abound everywhere in this country. But the Americans had something to cheer everyone up, they brought a huge load of candy to give to kids in Kabul. It was not the kind of sight that a person soon forgets.

The trek back to Camp Phoenix was made in total darkness. Still, the visible environment kept its air of tension and mystique.

Generators provide the only electricity, and donkey carts still block traffic.

Then a local boy overtook our group, his presence like an odd gift in these dark and all too often bizarre surroundings.

I asked him, "So how much time do you spend on English each day?

"Uh, twelve o'clock, come back two o'clock,” Ahmed answered, and then walked off into the darkness, “Bye!"

New programs are going into place soon that should help clamp down on police corruption, but ANP officers say only a living wage and proper equipment will attract the type of people that can give law enforcement a lasting and professional existence in Afghanistan.

Watch the Streaming Video News Report below, direct from Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King:

If you are interested in sponsoring a special report, direct from the 41st Combat Brigade at Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan, email: bonnie@salem-news.com

DISPATCHES FROM AFGHANISTAN "SUPPORT GROUP"

Love Boxes sponsor of special report, and fantastic support group for all of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Send a Love Box: http://www.loveboxesforourtroops.com

Salem Police provided body armor, military rainproof clothing and other small materials from their SWAT team that will make a big difference for Tim's level of safety.

Eola Hills Winery hosted a winetasting fundraiser on October 13th. Special thanks goes to Eric Rogers, Terri & Ann. Visit Eola Hills at http://eolahills.com

McDonalds Restaurants of Salem provided $1,100 toward the trip to Afghanistan. We hardly know how to thank them enough, but we know this is one organization that sees the value of bringing the stories of our Oregon soldiers home.

Nopps Jewelry and Art provided a kevlar military issue helmet with a value of $250. This is greatly appreciated! You can visit their site: www.nopps.com

Eric Mason of Salem provided $100 toward Tim's trip to Afghanistan. Eric and Tim formerly worked together at Portland, Oregon's ABC station.

Jesse Anderson of Lincoln City provided funds to help, as did Dan and Marti Motley of Salem. One of Salem's most courageous families, David and Arlene Banks, provided $100 toward Tim's trip.

Another pair of Salem heroes, Scott Smith and Margaret Sanner, provided funds to assist with Tim's Afghanistan trip.

Roger Yost and Alessandro's Ristorante have provided generous assistance for the Afghanistan coverage.

Camo and Gear Military Surplus in Salem contributed a pair of new military issue boots that will be ideal for use in Afghanistan.

Tom Golden of Golden’s Funeral Service, Proud of the past, prepared for the future.

Other supporters wish not to be named, but we appreciate them greatly, and each and every contribution makes a big difference.

We will continue to keep you updated on the people and organizations that support Oregon troops and are making Dispatches from Afghanistan possible.

A special THANK YOU to these Silent Auction contributors: Extreme Velocity Paintball, Beads-a-Million, SLAB, Oak Knoll Golf Course, Best Lil Roadhouse, Los Baez, EZ Orchards, Adams Ribs Smokehouse, Willamette Queen, Thailand Restaurant, Lela Kelly, Frank Matthews and Tina Miller Thanks!

Salem-News.com is a locally owned news organization. Sponsorship of Tim's reports on Salem-News.com is very affordable with enormous exposure, and the reports will be archived complete with your commercial.

If you would like to advertise, or join the others listed who have assisted through contributions, there is still plenty of need. Help the effort to bring home the stories of Oregon soldiers.
Send a check to:
Salem-News.com (AFGHAN)
P.O. Box 5238
Salem, Oregon 97304

This report was filed by Tim King while embedded in Kabul, Afghanistan with the 41st Combat Brigade of the Oregon National Guard.

_________________________________________________________

Tim King in 2007, covering the Afghanistan War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 102 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Tim King January 4, 2007 6:37 am (Pacific time)

Well I'm back in Internet range for a day, to Nellye; Seward is a wonderful guy and we became good friends in some very cold country. He is safe and doing very well and he will be featured in some upcoming reports, so please stay tuned. BTW, my mom shares your wonderful first name, that is unusual and very neat. Thanks for writing. OSOTAN- I will be stateside before long, I love seeing your comments!


Henry Ruark January 3, 2007 6:06 pm (Pacific time)

O-tan: Had toughie Marine for rmmate in own service, so understood "head" as you used it; mine still stands as HonestJohn used it...sometimes I have reason to believe he may have been close, usually couple days after faulty OpEd...!!


LORETTA January 2, 2007 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

Amazing video...I just want to send my prayer of protection to all of you there! I look forward to reading and seeing your reports each week....be safe


Nellye January 2, 2007 12:54 pm (Pacific time)

Tim King: keep those stories coming from Afghanistan! I am Seward Meintsma's mom and I'm being educated about Afghan. XXXOOO


Osotan December 31, 2006 8:29 am (Pacific time)

Hank; no., no, nothing like that. Head is a Marine-Navy term for toilet facility.The rank structure wes sort of a rotating item due to conduct unbecoming to Marine codes of behavior., or anyone elses for that matter, but I was once., on paper,an E-4 corporal, which was not consumated due to a simultanious infraction time wise, and I was busted to E-2 again., and would be one mo time before separation. They knew I was not officer material.


Henry Ruark December 31, 2006 7:00 am (Pacific time)

O-tan: Gotta ask: What stripes do you have ?...and How did you get them ? My top-kick had lower-than private level he termed -head" with description added in front. But "Honest John" ran fine poker parties, too...


Tim King December 31, 2006 4:06 am (Pacific time)

Happy New Year OSOTAN, I will be back some time in January and it will indeed be good. I think the cold of this country could make that brig look inviting!


Osotan; December 31, 2006 1:29 am (Pacific time)

Correction notice; I meant "insolence" but typoed on acct. of being tied to a nine meter line from the rails of the cruiser Garvey,and it interferred with the key thingy on my palm top, I am out here, they say,for banging the gong before midnite, (as are all the rest of my squad) and none of them even thought to bring a single laptop!, luckey I'm in charge!I want you to know how proud Admiral Brown was of them and I can tell you from leading these brave rasta Marines, it was one hell of a haystack Raymo got himself into, hadn't been for the smoke from the fire the turquoise star cluster set off we'd still be in afghanastan looking for tire tracks!, luckey the rest of the squad had their palmtops that time., so see ya after awhile.,over.


anonimo December 30, 2006 10:50 pm (Pacific time)

I'm thinking of Tyrone Davis's recording of"turn back the hands of time" and think of g.w.b. declaring the wars end in Iraq while from the deck of an aircraft carrier in San Diego..., three years ago.


Osotan December 30, 2006 9:58 pm (Pacific time)

and by the way, is that a night patrol you are on Pvt-sp4 King? as in night vision eqpt.?tracers maybe? and have you been issued an E-tool recently!? you will need it to xplain further isnolence., and the brig in Okinawa has an opening for trench techs as I write!., you are in quite deep already aren't you? it's a long way from Okinawa to Salem., isn't it Pvt-sp4?


Osotan December 30, 2006 5:22 pm (Pacific time)

Pvt.-sp4 King; HAPPY NEW YEAR! THE TUNE BY THE BOXTOPS,1967, "THE LETTER". says "lonely days are gone, I'm going home,my baby, she wrote me a letter", has already been sent, according to the privates spouse, and the rest of us all want you back too, so when are you returning anyway?.

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